During a Thursday appearance on Fox News, former United States Attorney General Bill Barr said he didn’t think former President Donald Trump’s legal troubles were suggestive of election interference during his 2024 presidential run.
Despite having a rocky relationship with the former President, Barr has defended Trump in two of his four indictments.
“The idea that this is interfering with the election is simply wrong,” Barr told Fox News host John Roberts, adding it was fair to argue whether Trump should have been charged or not.
Roberts noted Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is presiding over the former President in his federal case in Washington D.C., had set Trump’s trial date for March 4, the day before Super Tuesday.
“I guess a lot of the momentum in the primary season will have already been established,” Roberts said, adding the importance of Super Tuesday in the upcoming election. “Trump supporters say this is all political. This is meant to disrupt the primary.”
Former Trump U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr dismisses the idea that the investigations into Trump constitute election interference: “I mean, the basic principle in the criminal justice system is if a prominent person commits a crime, and is seeking office, that doesn't give him… pic.twitter.com/h8FuJTv0Qz
— Jason Rantz on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) September 1, 2023
Roberts shared a clip from last week’s Republican presidential primary hosted by the outlet in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in which former New Jersey governor Chris Christie criticized Trump’s “conduct” and “insistence” to seek a third presidential run.
“Despite the fact that he’s been indicted in four different jurisdictions and is out on bail in four different jurisdictions in this country, whether you believe the charges are just or not, they are here,” Christie says in the clip.
Barr responded, agreeing with Christie.
“The basic principle in the criminal justice system is if a prominent person commits a crime, and is seeking office, that doesn’t give him immunity,” said Barr. “If there’s enough time to have it resolved before the election, it should be resolved. The idea that ‘oh, okay, well, I’m sorry, we’ll let you run in the election and then after we’ll address it,’ that’s not a principle of the criminal [justice system].”
Barr referred to the idea of blanket immunity for presidential candidates as “silly.”
“Now, you can argue about whether he should have been charged and so forth,” Barr concluded. “But the idea that this is interfering with the election is simply wrong.”
Barr previously referred to Trump’s Georgia indictment as “too sweeping,” “much too broad,” and “excessive.”
“I also think there’s merit in the point that this is a case that I don’t think is going to be triable before the election,” he said. “It’s just too sprawling.”
The former United States AG also criticized Trump’s New York charges, referring to them as a political hit job.
“I think the federal cases are legitimate,” Barr said. “At the end of the day, at the core of this thing, he engaged, in the case of the documents, in outrageous behavior where anyone would be prosecuted.”
“He’s not being prosecuted for having the documents. He’s being prosecuted for obstruction — two egregious instances are alleged. So, I think that’s a very simple case, and that should be tried … In my opinion, he did cross the line. It wasn’t just rough and tumble politics. He crossed the line.”